Orlando City had a better showing than their last game in Toronto, but the Lions still failed to impress in a scoreless draw against the worst team in the eastern conference, the Philadelphia Union. Although there were no goals to speak of, Orlando's defense showed up big tonight and were able to keep a clean sheet for the first time since late June against the Colorado Rapids.
For those upset about tonight's result, Adrian Heath said this after the post game press conference, "An old coach of mine used to say to me never ever, be disappointed with a point, because at some stage that's gonna help you."
So without further ado, here are our player grades and our Man of the Match from tonight's game:
G, Tally Hall, 8.0 (MOTM)-- When you get a clean sheet in a game like this one was, you're pretty much a given for man of the match. Had a great tip over save in the 80th minute and held his own over the next 10-minute onslaught from the Union
D, Corey Ashe, 6.5 -- Looked a bit uncomfortable playing on the right side. Never really impacted the game as he would on the left and had some pretty bad giveaways in the midfield.
D, Conor Donovan, N/A -- Only played the first 10 minutes of the game, but was really aggressive and solid defensively. Shame he injured himself the way he did.
D, Aurelien Collin, 7.5 -- Held down the back line as always, making key stop after key stop. Did a great job shutting down former Lion C.J. Sapong and kept him off the score sheet.
D, Luke Boden, 6.5 -- Bodz' services into the box weren't quite up to his usual quality tonight. He still was able to control the left side of the field and create opportunities, but that midweek game at Toronto looked to have taken a toll on him. Still was able to help hold the defensive line and made some key plays.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 -- Had a solid showing in the defensive midfield. Was a bit too tentative on the counter attack and many times he was dribbling the ball down field, but never made the killer pass to keep the attack going. Still, he was able to track back and help break up most of Philly's attacks.
MF, Servando Carrasco, 5.5 -- Looked completely lost in some parts of the game and had some key turnovers that allowed the Union to counter. Subbed out in the 72nd minute.
MF, Darwin Ceren, 6.0 -- Just like the rest of the team, Ceren looked tired and a bit slow on defense. Playing at the right mid was a bit of an adjustment for him and was late getting back on defense a couple of times. Still was effective enough to create opportunities, but they were few and far between.
MF, Kaká, 6.0 -- It took about 25 minutes into the game before the captain made much of an impact on the game. He seemed a step slow, probably still bothered by his injured ankle. The second half it felt like he hardly got involved in the game and couldn't control the passing tempo like he usually can.
MF, Lewis Neal, 6.0 -- A usual night for Lewis Neal. Nothing flashy, just did what was asked of him. Still had some missed passes and turnovers, but you can say that about most of the team, actually.
F, Cyle Larin, 6.5 -- A dangerous target all night, Larin never got into his usual groove and hardly got any opportunities to score. Pushed a free header over the bar that he should have done better with, and his shot at 20' was straight at goalkeeper John McCarthy.
D, Tommy Redding (13'), 8.0 -- Had some nerves getting out there at first, but settled into the game nicely. Like the rest of the back line, Redding did a great job in his first MLS game to hold the Union to a shutout and received praise from just about everyone in the locker room.
MF, Carlos Rivas (65'), 6.0 -- His speed changed things up a bit in the game, but overall wasn't very effective. Still was able to get a few crosses in the box, but none of them made a difference.
MF, Adrian Winter (72'), 6.0 -- Having not played in a real soccer match in three months, Winter looked decent. You could tell he has a lot of potential and speed, but it was evident he wasn't quite ready to play. Hopefully another week in training will do him some good.